Am I the only person this morning who finds Helen’s denials this morning deeply ironic.
Miss Clark, now head of the United Nations Development Programme, told Radio New Zealand the allegation was wrong.
“I am absolutely incensed at the suggestion that some Defence Ministry personnel seem to have made to various diplomats that there was any connection between my support for sending engineers to do humanitarian work in Iraq with the interests of Fonterra, I mean this is simply preposterous.”
Cabinet responded to a call from the UN for states to help in Iraq and she has no recollection of Dr Cullen making such a comment.
“Absolutely nothing. I read this stuff on the website last night with incredulity. I can’t even remember any suggestion of Michael Cullen even raising it. What I know is that after the UN Security Council resolution that said `would you come and help member states in Iraq’ we looked at what we could do.”
Well, it’s entirely possible that she’s telling the truth – she didn’t send them “with the interests of Fonterra”, she sent them with the interests of herself. It was observed by friends of mine that throughout Helen’s tenure that she made many decisions to curry favour with the UN, and UN members especially when such actions where of little or no value to this country.
At the time, I was somewhat skeptical. But as they say, the proof is in the pudding.
Now, the irony there is that many left wing bloggers are spluttering that we had officials who were working for a foreign power, when their job was working in the interests of New Zealand.
I would point out that one of those was sitting at the head of the cabinet table.
Lest We Forget
The top honour of membership of the Order of New Zealand goes to Helen Clark. In some ways, it is no surprise, as former PMs David Lange, Mike Moore and Jim Bolger were also made ONZ, and Don McKinnon also is a member for holding high international office.
So it was inevitable Clark would be made a member, but so soon after she left office will leave a sour taste for many.
It’s not that sour to me. Given the new adminstration chose not to push for prosecutions for the crimes comitted by Labour during the Clark years, (like, stealing money to purchase elections – and let’s not forget the EFA) it’s “business as usual” and we have to get used to that.
What does rankle is that Clark broke the rules on the ONZ, appointing far more than the 20 allowed. (Hm, seems that there’s a bit more to it than that.) Oh yes, and there’s always the matter of Mr Johnathan “I’ve done nothing my entire parliamentary career” Hunt getting appointed.
Because of that, my preference would be for her to wait her turn, until a spot opens up.
That would be only fair.
An observation from Bryan Spondre at Gotcha! today:
It is interesting that Helen Clark chose to be associated with the arts by becoming Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage while John Key has taken on tourism.
By becoming arts minister, Helen was making sure she kept a very vocal sector on side. There is no doubt in my mind it was a political ploy aimed at improving her media image by sucking up to those who had power over it. It helped that it was her own area of interest too.
John on the other hand, associates himself with selling the country to the world.
Political survival and personal gratification vs. driving the country forward.
Speaks volumes really.
So Cullen’s off to run New Zealand Post.
It’s disappointing, given the man’s attitude towards the country’s finances during his later years in change of the treasury, but
a) he does have some skills and
b) I can’t do anything about it
so I’m not going to get too worked up about it.
However, looking at Helen’s lack of grace in refusing to admit any mistakes may motivate certain bloggers to make sure those mistakes are more fully documented…
I have a real problem with someone who runs things like this…
And we won’t even talk about the the fact that the reason Wellington got called Helengrad is that because anyone who dared to disagree with Labour was put on a blacklist. Not only would they not get board appointments – their firms would be ineligible for any government contracts. This was all common knowledge. Dozens of business leaders said they would never publicly criticise the Labour Government as they would be shut out.
…being given a top job at the UN.
Throw in the fact that she used her time as PM of this country to effectively campaign for the job, and I have a big problem with it.
How exactly will Helen, who ran Wellington like her own personal my-way-or-the-highway fiefdom, make New Zealand proud in the UN?
Why is someone who made serious breaches of our electoral law, who then rewrote the law by backdoor means to favour her own goverment being nominated for anything by our goverment?
Is she supposed to suddenly drop that attitude, not to mention her radical social agenda, once she takes up this new job?
Sure, dodgy people get top jobs in the UN all the time. But do we really have to contribute ours?
P.S. For those that don’t understand the image, let me explain. The Young Nats had a picture of Helen as Darth Vader on their site. They remove it when Labour complained.
Labour however, never removed the unflattering cartoon of Brash off their main site.
Chris Laidlaw was talking about the morning’s program yesterday, and it went something like this.
“Media watch is going to discuss accusations of the media “leaning to the left”… then later we’re going to discuss whether or not Helen Clark was among the great New Zealand Prime Ministers.”
It seemed a bit ironic at the time!
First, while the leader of National essentially decides everything and the party trots along behind, Labour doesn’t work like that.
The left – based in reality and truff.
“It was not the policies that were the problem, it was a failure to communicate what those policies represent.”
No, it wasn’t “failure to communicate” either. (Though that is a constant favorite of you guys, after all, your policy platform is never wrong)
It was the fact that your government stunk like seafood that had been left in the sun for days.
Scampi to be precise.
I didn’t watch the debate last night.
I think I was watching the US coverage while tinkering with the blog stats post for an hour or so before some household duties.
Reading the left blogs today, it’s clear that Helen won. She threw away her long-time strategy of aggressively attacking Key and by doing so showed that she is really a different person from what we’ve had as PM for the last 9 years, and we should vote for her to get the change we al want. What H-Bomb?
The Standard have in fact called this her best yet.
Ian Wishart reckons she was conceding defeat.
Given I wasn’t even interested in watching, I am left wondering how many other people would have been interested.
Clear your desk Helen, it’s been great for your “free spirit” I’m sure but it’s time to go.
Oops, while Helen’s latest move looks like it will give her power, that ball actually rolled into the goal she is supposed to be guarding.
If the Maori Party go with Labour, then they will not have a 75% majority. National will have no reason to change its policy and Labour/Maori Party will fail to entrench the seats. Labour can not deliver on entrenchment without National.
Now what happens if the Maori Party go with National, and as part of that they manage to negotiate that National support entrenchment in exchange for various concessions on other issues. Well they also will not have 75%, But here is the great thing – Helen has already announced that Labour’s policy is now to support entrenchment. Labour will have to vote to entrench the seats, even though they are not in Government, or risk a mighty backlash from Maoridom for having lied to them about supporting entrenchment.
In her desperation to get close to the Maori Party, she has massively blundered by giving away one of her major post-election negotiating items. She has actually given the Maori Party an increased incentive to go with National, as that is the only way to get the 75% needed to entrench the Maori seats.